Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Black Women and HIV. Stop Blaming The Brothas.

In a world where men are generally held responsible for the actions of women and where this is taken to another level by the so called “black female empowerment bloggers” as it relates to black men, it has been very much noted that black men are blamed for the high rate of HIV infections in black women. Fuel is added by research indicating that most HIV infected black women were infected by heterosexual contact. By looking at it simplistically, it would seem that black men are the culprits, yet looking at it a little deeper shows a slightly different story.

First of all, it has been established through research that only 3% of HIV positive black women can attribute their infection to sexual contact a man who had sex with another man. This makes sense since studies indicate that only around 3% of black men are homosexual or bisexual, homosexual men of all races tend to be exclusively intimate with men once they come out of the closet and so-called “down-low” men usually don’t have multiple female partners (they tend to have one lady and multiple men). Thus, the vast majority of black women never have sex with men who have had sex with other men.

So eliminating gay or bisexual black men, we can see according to this chart that there were 7,340 new cases of HIV infections among black women in 2009 compared to 3,290 new cases for heterosexual black men during the same year. And since lesbian contact accounts for such a minuscule number of infections as to not even register, practically all of these women infected by sexual contact are heterosexual or bisexual. Hence, we can see that there are at least twice as many heterosexual black women being infected by HIV as there are heterosexual black men even when the three percent of black women infected by men who have sex with other men are eliminated from the group.

So what this shows is that a heterosexual black man through random chance is at least twice as likely as a heterosexual black women to have sexual contact with a member of the opposite sex who is HIV positive. Even if we consider those who are infected by intravenous drug use, the number of black men being infected in such a way is fairly similar to the number of black women being infected that way. At face value, this would seem that black women are more of a danger to black men than the reverse as it relates to spreading HIV, but we will be honest and not go there because the disease is spread much more easily from man to woman than from woman to man. This would account for the greater number of heterosexual black women infected than heterosexual black men.

But studies indicate that black women are infected with HIV at 21 times the rate of white women while black men are infected at 7 times the rate of white men. So why are black women not infected at 7 times the rate of white women as black men are compared to white men? Why are black men not infected at 21 times the rate of white men as black women are compared to white women? Why the discrepancy? Here is my theory.

Black women have a greater tendency than other women to seek intimacy with the very type of men who partake in more risky behavior. Those would be your thugs, hoodlums, pimps, players, etc. These are the very men most prone to having high numbers of sexual partners, least likely to use protection and most likely to partake in drug use. It is this tendency, in my opinion, for the bulk of black women to seek out the smaller number of 'bad boy' alpha males and their willingness to share these males as opposed to seeking one on one relationships with more stable, conservative males that contributes to the excessive infection rate prevalent among black women today